Executive Summary: Monitoring Iran
The Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in Iran Requires a Special Rapporteur
Iranian authorities increasingly disregard human rights standards, arbitrarily imprisoning human rights defenders, journalists, political activists, and trade unionists. The number of executions has skyrocketed. Officials routinely use torture to extract false confessions, and a deeply politicized Judiciary fails to uphold due process. Discrimination against women and religious and ethnic minorities has intensified. Since 2009, four independent United Nations bodies have documented these trends.
Achievements of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran
- The mandate has sparked participation by Iranian society in UN human rights mechanisms. Iran’s human rights community and Iranian victims of abuse have actively supported and engaged with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, seeing him as an arbiter to whom they can express their concerns. In this sense, the first year of the mandate has been an overwhelming success as it has drawn hundreds of Iranians into the international human rights process.
- The mandate helps prioritize human rights in Iran internationally and amongst Iranians.
- The Special Rapporteur’s reports effectively document many individual cases and human rights trends not covered by other UN documents.
- The creation of the mandate has likely helped convince Iranian authorities to mitigate some human rights abuses.
Iran’s Failure to Cooperate with UN Human Rights Mechanisms
- Iran has failed to cooperate with thematic mandates. The government has not allowed any thematic mandates to visit the country since 2005 and has ignored the majority of communications sent by these mandates.
- Iran has failed to implement recommendations from the 2010 Universal Periodic Review.
- Iran has failed to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran. Authorities have not allowed a country visit by the Special Rapporteur nor provided substantive comments to his reports. Instead, officials have been openly hostile to the mandate, deriding him and his work in domestic media.
- Renewing the Special Rapporteur’s mandate will convey to Iran that it must establish constructive dialogue with UN human rights mechanisms regarding its violations of international law.
- Renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.
- Urge Iran to submit a voluntary mid-term Universal Periodic Review.
- Call on Iran to cooperate substantively with all UN human rights mechanisms.